HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – You may barely see him as you speed by the busy intersection, but once you spot Bill Waters, you will never forget him.
Many people complain about the potholes and other road repairs needed on Glenns Bay Road. As crews begin work on the Riding on a Penny Project, Waters maneuvers past the potholes and traffic congesting the road on his bicycle, glad to have a road to get to a job he loves.
He pops his bike into the back room of Liberty Tax Service in the Food Lion plaza and gears up to change into his uniform. In this case, it's a green velvety gown, complete with a headpiece. He transforms himself into a human version of the Statue of Liberty, ready to get your attention and business for the tax service company.
His positive attitude is infectious, as he makes a round around the parking lot before heading to his spot by the street. Whether the workers know it, he first waves to each individual business storefront in the plaza, shouting out greetings to customers walking out of them.
“It's not work! It is play! I love making people smile,” he said to a man walking out of the Food Lion grocery store.
Waters talks a mile a minute, and seems to walk even faster.
Using a small piece of land between a drainage ditch and construction cones, Waters dances over to access his ‘office.'
However, the view from his office is changing. With construction on every corner, you can barely see his crown from the roadway. So, he hops up on an electrical box and transforms it into his stage. The construction may slow down traffic, but it doesn't slow down Bill Waters.
“It's great because it slows people down and they can see me longer,” said Waters between shouting out greetings to cars. When a driver beeps his or her horn, Waters lights up. “Some people take pictures, I must be famous on Facebook by now,” he added.
While commuters groan about the added construction, Waters revels in it.
“Growing up as a kid I loved construction vehicles,” Waters said while pointing out his favorite vehicles digging up the area across the street from his office view.
He isn't the only one watching; the construction workers also take notice of him.
“One lady pulled right up here and called me over to her car. She handed me a construction flag! As you can see, I've worn it out…might need a new one soon, but this will do,” said Waters as he demonstrated using the flag in his routine.
He joked, “I'd like a green one, but orange is good because it shows construction is going on.”
It is one of the busiest construction areas in the county, with planned lane closures and shoulder work to be done during this week. But for Waters, it serves as a backdrop and a soundtrack for his job.
“I make my own music, don't wear any headphones,” said Waters as he hummed along with the noises of construction vehicles and traffic zipping by the area.